Thursday 25 December 2014

Eircom to expand eFibre rollout

Adrian Weckler and Sarah Stack

Published 29/08/2014 | 07:56

Eircom logo
Eircom logo

Eircom is to expand the rollout of its eFibre broadband product to 1.6m homes and businesses, the company has said.

The operator’s previously stated target for its eFibre services was 1.4m premises by the end of 2016.

The telecoms group also said that its revenue has fallen to €1.28bn - down €85m or 6pc - despite having 1.8 million landline and mobile phone customers.

Annual results for the year to the end of June show its operating profit remained stable, down 1pc or €3m to €479m, before storm costs of €10m.

The operator is currently considering a sale or a public flotation.

Herb Hribar, chief executive, said the past twelve months underline real and sustained progress in the transformation of eircom’s financial performance and product offerings.

“We have now had eight consecutive quarters of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) stability, slowing decline in our revenues and an improved cost base,” he said.

The results come as 3 Ireland and Eircom sign a new network sharing agreement, fulfilling one of the commitments 3 Ireland entered into as part of receiving EU Commission approval for its €750m acquisition of O2 in Ireland earlier this year. The new agreement will run to 2030 and commits funding to create a shared network of over 2,000 sites within the next three years.

3 Ireland and Eircom will share site equipment, power supply, towers and transmission throughout the country. Existing sites of both operators will be consolidated and new sites will be jointly built.

In a statement, the companies said that the partnership will help facilitate the introduction of new technologies to roll out 4G services and “provide data coverage to every part of the country”.

Elsewhere, eircom said sales in its fixed telephone line sector fell 8pc for the year to €980m, but its expanding broadband market recorded a 7.5pc increase, with 718,000 broadband connections over the year to the end of June.

Operating profits in its mobile phone business more more than doubled to €36m despite sales dropping by 2pc to €347m.

Bondholders recently approved the company's proposed corporate re-organisation - easing the way for a sale or stock market floation of the company.

Richard Moat, chief financial officer, said there are early signs of commercial momentum, as more and more fixed and mobile customers are directly and indirectly using its network.

“In addition, the strategic review of the group’s capital structure continues,” he added.

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